Bollywood films to battle it out in 2018
Bollywood churns out hundreds of films every year, all vying for the 52 Fridays available. So, there are bound to be clashes at the box office. And the coming year is no different. Sidharth Malhotra’s Aiyaary will take on Anushka Sharma’s Pari on Feb 9, and actor Rani Mukerji’s Hichki and John Abraham’s Parmanu will release on Feb 23. March 2 will see a clash between Drive and Hate Story 4. “A good film will grow regardless of any Friday… You can’t avoid [a clash]. As an actor, it’s beyond my control,” says Sidharth. As the year progresses into festive weekends, the stakes get higher. Ex-lovers Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Salman Khan’s films Fanney Khan and Race 3 respectively are set for an Eid release — becoming the latest announcement. “It’s official... #FanneyKhan confirmed for Eid 2018...” trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted on Friday. But the baap of clashes in 2018 will be between Shah Rukh Khan’s untitled dwarf film with Aanand L Rai, Ranveer Singh’s Temper remake with Rohit Shetty and Sushant Singh Rajput and debutante Sara Ali Khan’s Kedarnath on December 21. “Kedarnath needs a long holiday, and this will ensure that it gets a clean run till January. If it’s a good film, the audience will definitely come,” says producer Prernaa Arora, whose films Pari, Parmanu, and yet-untitled thriller with Irrfan and Deepika Padukone are also lined up for 2018. “Even 2019’s dates are blocked,” adds Arora, admitting that blocking dates well in advance is the new trend. It’s clearly survival of the fittest and about making sure you get enough amount of screens. That’s where the real issue lies, says trade expert Atul Mohan. “India may be the largest producer of films in the world, but it still only has about 8,000 theatres, whereas China has 30,000, and US some 40,000. We aren’t ready to accommodate even two big films on the same day.” Remind him that earlier this year SRK’s Raees and Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil had released on the same day and both did well, and Mohan says, “They did well, but each film could have earned more had they released separately.”
Rani Mukerji and John Abraham (above right) are set for a boxoffice clash
Salman and Aishwarya’s films Race 3 and Fanney Khan both have an Eid release
Sidharth’s Aiyaary (top) and Anushka’s Pari (above) share the same release date in February.